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Wellsboro’s ‘Dickens of a Christmas’ canceled for first time in 37 years

WELLSBORO — “Dickens of a Christmas” in Wellsboro has been canceled for the first time in 37 years after a 4 to 2 vote from the Wellsboro Borough Council, according to Councilman Scot Boyce and Julie Henry, executive director of the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce.

“This is the first time it has ever been canceled,” Henry said.

The event, which would have been held on Dec. 5, is commonly known to attract a lot of people to the small area of Wellsboro according to Boyce.

“We wish we could have had it, nobody wanted to cancel it,” he said. “There are just so many ‘what ifs.’ “

He added that the decision was not made lightly and the council took it upon themselves to set up meetings with the Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force and Chamber to attempt to come up with a plan.

“In the eyes of the council, we couldn’t come up with a safe way to do it with all of the people,” Boyce said.

He added that the council took the “bigger picture” approach to the situation, considering what could happen if a police officer, public works employees and students were to get the virus causing an uptick in cases, having to close more local schools, businesses and borough operations.

“Council also took the initiative to get a decision out early,” he added.

Henry said that the chamber was working to ensure that the event had mitigation measures to provide the safest event possible, like requiring masking and social distancing.

She did say though, that she remains concerned for the vendors and their economic welfare due to the majority of all events being canceled.

“We respect their decision,” she said. “We are all in this together and we all need to continue to get through this in one piece.”

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